War of the Worlds (BBC TV Series)

Phyrebrat

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There’s a remake of WOTW? Sigh.

Because there aren’t enough other genre works that might be worth producing.

WOTW has done its thing, had its day, and the best drama line is the strange vicar’s reaction to the invasion.

You’d think we lived in a cultural desert.

pH
 

Toby Frost

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Generally, I'd agree, but I don't think WOTW has ever been adapted very well for the TV, especially in a period setting. Good to see it being attempted at least.
 

Phyrebrat

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Fair enough - the first thing that sprung to mind was why they were doing something like this after the execrable ’Invasion’ series they did in - when was it? - late nineties?

pH
 

HareBrain

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I loved that album.
The standard by which all other adaptations will be judged and found wanting. It seemed wrong that the opening monologue wasn't immediately followed by massed strings going "duh duh duuuuuuuh". The album artwork was great too -- I wish I had the vinyl version so I could behold it in all its glory.
 

Elckerlyc

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I still have the vinyl version, but no working turntable.
Perhaps because of the album our expectations were wrong, wanting a visualisation to go with the music.
 

Dave

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I have two of the vinyls. One was mine and one was my wife's. I also recently picked up the 'next generation' 1990's version on CD, second hand. It has Liam Neeson and more modern actors, but you can't better Richard Burton, so not sure why they tried. My wife has seen the live theatrical musical in London.

The versions on film are not very satisfactory, so there is room for a better version. I agree that to try to adapt this as a TV costumed period piece wasn't a bad idea in itself, but in my view the padding was boring and seemed out of place. I'll continue watching anyway. Some people will undoubtedly be coming to this story for the first time and I hope they like it.
 

Vince W

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What a massive disappointment. I've seen enough, I won't bother with any more.
 

CupofJoe

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I've come to the position that I'm forgetting about it being HG Wells' War of the Worlds. It's just a TV show about a war between worlds. I still think the first episode was paced far too slow. It looks like American viewers may see it as 2 ninety-minute shows and not three of 60 minutes... maybe the pacing will work better that way.
 

ryubysss

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the book had a sketched-in protagonist (and only protagonist) and no subplots. much more focussed. the '50's movie and the '30's radio version did a good job of adapting the story. they didn't feel the need to overcomplicate the story.
 

Stephen Palmer

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Haven't seen this yet, but definitely going to check it out on the iPlayer over the weekend.
Genre stuff is doing well on the Beeb at the moment.
 

Av Demeisen

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I was surprised to like the first episode almost unreservedly. Second episode was a bitter disappointment.
 

Toby Frost

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I once played the Jeff Wayne version to a friend, who thought its synth pop and hooting Martians were laughably bad. It's like the Rankin-Bass Lord of the Rings: classic to some, naff to others. For me, nobody's ever done the story justice. Alan Moore got close in the second League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but turned it into a redemption story for Mr Hyde. Even the Tom Cruise version got something right in its depiction of complete panic among the citizens, although the rest was weak. The History Channel once did a strange version, in which tripods were superimposed on WW1 footage, which captured the horror of the thing in a rather morally-questionable way. But I don't think anyone's ever quite got it.

Incidentally, here is a gallery of 100 years' of covers of The War of the Worlds.

 
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Stephen Palmer

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like many, I thought the red bits were on Mars.
I think the atmosphere alone is pulling me into this. Also, I watch very little tv, so watching two fictional series is a big novelty for me...
As for Jeff Wayne's version: great music and my fave.
 

Toby Frost

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Yes, I thought they had to be on Mars too. When I first saw humans walking about, I remembered that the Martians seemed to keep some kind of humanoids on Mars to drain for blood, and wondered if it might be two of those that we were seeing.
 

BAYLOR

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like many, I thought the red bits were on Mars.
I think the atmosphere alone is pulling me into this. Also, I watch very little tv, so watching two fictional series is a big novelty for me...
As for Jeff Wayne's version: great music and my fave.
I loved Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds game. :cool:(y)
 

Toby Frost

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I wouldn't call it boring as such, but I'm interested rather than entertained. It's included new stuff and missed other stuff out, but the first thing I've really missed was the fight between a walker and the Thunder Child. The budget seems to be generated at random for each scene: we've had some impressive visuals and some rather cheap ones. I think it's moving rapidly away from being a straight interpretation and into a "radical rethinking" or similar jargon. I don't think that it's a success but I'm not annoyed with it. I don't feel it's gone against the original, it's just left a load of stuff out. Which for such a short book is, er, "impressive".

I realise that quite a lot of people will dismiss it as plain bad and fair enough, to an extent. It does make me wonder what it has to have in it before it stops being The War of the Worlds and becomes a story vaguely inspired by it. If you go to see the Rolling Stones perform their greatest hits, how many hits can they not perform before it stops being what it claimed to be?
 

Stephen Palmer

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Having now seen both episodes, I'm baffled as to why there's a lot of negativity about it. I think it's well acted, looks fantastic, the pacing is good and the script is fine. The beach scenes last night were absolutely compelling - you really got a sense of the chaos and despair. Fabulous CGI there. I loved it. I also don't see that the "modern" bits are in any way a distraction or an annoyance, to me they seemed fairly subtle and quite intriguing - also, historically correct. Last night's episode even gave a subtle and very effective nod to one of HG Wells' main themes, the madness and destructive violence of colonial Britain. It really made you think about what Britain did in Tasmania, not to mention the rest of Australia.
My only grumble is that I didn't at first get the relevance of the red-themed "flash-forwards," but episode two brilliantly put that into perspective with speeches about turning the Earth into a new Mars. I suppose the Martians would call that Marsiforming?
In conclusion; really good, and I can't wait for episode three!
 
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